Seems like it’s been ages since I’ve flown somewhere. In reality, it’s been about 2 weeks, but still. I’m comfortably ensconced at the recently remodeled and eternally great DCA Admirals Club waiting for my 10am to Chicago, where I will connect to another American flight to San Francisco. As a junior Gold AAdvantage member, I expect I will be cooling my heels in coach for the trip out to SFO, but you never know. I asked to be placed on the upgrade list anyway, just in case. Normally, I would’ve placed myself on the upgrade list when checking myself in online, but that wasn’t working out for me yesterday.
Per usual, I dutifully attempted online check in at the 24 hour before flight mark yesterday morning, but received an error message that I would need to check in with an airport agent. Bummer. My trip was booked by my corporate travel agent and includes 4 segments on American and 1 on Virgin America right in the middle. I suspected that I knew what was wrong, but that didn’t stop me from calling AA.com web services to see if there was anything obvious going on with my reservation that could be easily fixed.
I waited on hold just a couple of minutes before I was assisted by a very nice gentleman with a sort of Texas-seeming twang. I told him my issue and he went through my reservation only to confirm what I’d suspected, that I really would have to check in with an agent. He went through the whole spiel explaining the difference between a reservation and an electronic ticket and how they link to each other, etc. Due to the one segment on Virgin America, I would be unable to check in online because the system basically can’t reconcile why there are 5 segments in my reservation, but only 4 ticket “coupons.” AA and VX do not have an interline agreement, so AA’s system can’t “see” that there is a ticket for that one little segment and online check in fails. Seems simple enough to fix, but I guess it isn’t.
In any event, I was first in line at First Class check in at DCA this morning where I was processed without a problem. Heck, it’s kind of neat to have an actual boarding pass for once. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I checked in with a person! So, word to the wise, if you have a segment in your itinerary with an airline that AA doesn’t have a ticketing agreement with, your online check in may not work. Life goes on, and now I’ll go on to San Francisco!